Lance Armstrong is full of shit.
That is my honest assessment. It has been troubling for me, as an avid follower of the great Tour, to watch it’s greatest champion fall into such disgrace. I honestly gave him the benefit of the doubt. It was such a magnificent story, rendered, promoted and distributed.
Unfortunately, it is all full of shit.
I cannot help but feel disturbed when I look at the archival footage featuring the man vehemently denying his guilt. He is very convincing. He makes his statements with passion and authority. He demonstrates conviction in his demeanour and delivery. My assessment when watching these videos today is that he is a pathological liar.
Lance Armstrong is full of shit. And now, after losing everything, he is trying to salvage the situation. He is trying to weasel himself out of a disaster. I’m sorry, but this is all too transparent.
And then I watch these videos, and I ask myself why? Why would he do this for over a decade?
And what was there to gain? Success? Personal glory?
Yes, sacrifices must be made, but I wonder how obsessed must a man become before he sacrifices personal integrity. Surely, for all this time, there was a part of him that knew it was complete bullshit. How do you repress that idea, that your life is a lie? That you are a global conductor of bullshit?
Maybe the drug of glory is too addictive. Maybe it is the glee of getting away with it.
Let’s say there are lessons we can pull from this. In the spirit of this blog, what can we learn?
There is the question of using your intelligence as a self-managing bullshit detector. Often, we espouse the idea of honesty and openness in ourselves. I do not think this is a good strategy. Our brains were developed according to the forces of sexual selection and deception.
The first step of honesty is to realise that you are prone to self-deception.
Catch yourself when you in the midst of your own bullshit. It is not a logical thing. It is an intuitive thing. It is a gut thing.
You will say to yourself, “Hey, you know that thing I was thinking/doing/living, that is actually complete bullshit”.
Then take note of when you try to get away with it. You know what I mean. That smug feeling when you connive a guilty pleasure, just for you. Stop it. Cut it out. Learn from it and replace it. Do something different.
As men, we grow from facing our challenges. Our first and greatest challenge is self-deception.
Every decision, action and reaction you have has consequence. Own the impact you make on others.
Take complete responsibility for every single thing that happens in your life. You must live your life dynamically, and it will shift the world around you.
Take responsibility and credit when good things happen. Be humble.
Take responsibility and be honest when it hits the fan. Be open and direct.
What you do, what you say, impacts others. Yes, they are responsible for how they react. You are responsible for how you treat them. You are responsible for your integrity when you interact with them. It is a partnership, an agreement. Do not violate that. Sometimes you will make mistakes. Apologise, explain yourself and do what is right to redeem your actions.
Your gut will lead the way.
Beware when your actions only serve your own glory.
When a man is obsessively seeking out recognition and success, he is a boy seeking approval and status. He may achieve it all, realise it all. But what does it matter? When you die your ashes won’t care about the glory. What is the use of a famous name to a pile of dirt and bones?
Service is the only thread that matters in the fabric of time. Make your efforts live to serve.
Let us take that to radical lengths.
What service would cause ripples that go out beyond you? Outside of you? Past your lifetime?
What legacy can be left behind that can be built by your successors?
Beware chasing the fame and the glory. Do not make it the goal. Make it a bonus.